The Destination: Four Seasons Resort Langkawi

READ ALSO: Four Seasons Resort Langkawi is Family-Focused

"Where are you heading to this holiday season?" a friend asked enthusiastically. 

Dreamily I replied, "We have decided on Four Seasons! The ideal destination to revivify the soul." 

With a raised eyebrow and scrunched up nose, she queried, "Pardon me? Like where on the World Map?"

It is unthinkable by many that we would spend every second of our holiday within a resort. A typical vacation should be filled with back-to-back sight-seeing, shopping and dining while hotels are only but a bed and bath. Breakfasts in the lobby aren't even important anymore because vacationers are inclined to "Go Local" and venture into backstreets. We, however, believe that year-end holidays deserve to be one that is luxurious and lazy yet bursting with life. Luxurious to treat ourselves for all that we've slogged for the year. Lazy, as a reminder that life isn't just a race. Liveliness to give the children a memorable experience. 

As a result, our destination was Four Seasons Resorts. The one on Langkawi island. This time, returning with juniors. You have to read on to see what the team had planned for our family. We were charmed. 

The Arrival
I had never been blown away this much. With a hoteling background from a luxury brand, I know what it takes to create an incredibly unforgettable experience. Four Seasons Langkawi did it for us on arrival. Ahmad, our driver, was all smiles when he picked us at the airport. He professionally accommodated to my request of a photo which clearly caught him by surprise. When he walked us to the car, my first thought was, "ah it isn't any kind of luxury like a Merc or BMW". That does not matter at all because when I opened the car door, what I saw mattered more than anything. Two car seats - one front-facing for my two year old and a back-facing for my baby. That is the kind of thoughtfulness I appreciate. Who would have considered that as a Standard Operating Procedure? Must be one family-friendly resort!

Part of my job was to share our experiences "real-time" on the various social channels. I couldn't believe I could do that on-route to the Resort! Four Seasons provide complimentary Wi-Fi in their arrival pick-up. I was impressed.

We received a warm welcome and were given all the time we needed to settle our two delighted children. Walking past the brightly-cloured Arabic-inspired courtyard, we bookmarked it to return later with the children for a photo session. It is too beautiful a landmark to be missed.

The Accommodation
The resort houses 91 pavilions and villas, and was running a full house. With a property area of 40,529 sqm, we still enjoyed the privacy we needed at the pools and private beach. We were whisked to our roomy Lower Melaleuca Pavilion with a buggy. We walked a pebbled pathway lined with tropical fauna towards our Pavilion. Oh what a welcoming sight. The garden at our doorstep was a slice of heaven for Ewan. He could toddle, somersault, run and swirl all he wanted!

I was impressed with the amenities provided for our children. We had a baby cot next to our bed dressed with pink sheets, comforter, pillow and a bolster just because Faye's a little girl. In the bathroom, we found a bottle steriliser, a 2-piece Drypers diaper pack, Johnson's & Johnson's baby toiletries and a baby tub. Everything that we needed, we were provided for. They made it felt like home for our baby girl with everything within reach and readily available.

For Ewan, they've propped a toy monkey next to the pillow of his toddler's bed, which was set right next to the windows overlooking a lush landscaped garden. There on the dining table was a welcome snack and a packet of dutch lady milk. A bowl of mixed fruit and jelly was what he needed for an afternoon nibble. Oh that hungry boy gobbled down two bowls.

The first thing father and son did upon check-in was to change into their trunks and headed into the outdoor jacuzzi for a bath! While they splashed about, I busied myself with the unpacking and found in the wardrobe a pair of child-size bedroom slippers and bathrobe. Too cute! It goes to show that the housekeeping team had brainstormed extensively to give recognition even to the juniors, making them feel like prestiged guests.

One thing I have to give special mention to is the amenity the parents received. We were not forgotten. Mommy and Daddy received a bottle of Pinot Noir for after-hours enjoyment. There will always be time to wind down i.e. when the children went to bed. Four Seasons sure know how to pamper every one in the family don't they?

The Fun
Where do I start!

Who are we kidding when we say we had envisioned to laze by the pool with a book in hand and waste half a day away. Everyone knows kids do not slow down even on holidays. While we wanted to rejuvenate, we needed to keep the active toddler occupied as well and the best thing that happened to us was a proposed family-focused itinerary for our five-day stay.

We had a casual meeting with Indran, Activities Manager, to run through the adventures they had in store for us. I wanted to jump right into schedule! It sounded so exciting!

Blue activities were meant for adult enjoyment
Red activities were meant for the children (which we were part of as well)

Day 1
1440hrs Meet & Greet by Four Seasons representative and chauffeured to the Resort
1500hrs Welcome by Four Seasons team upon arrival
1700hrs Catch the evening wind and Fly a Kite by the beach
1800hrs Sunset cocktails at the Middle Eastern-inspired Rhu Bar
1900hrs Enjoy your evening in the comfort of your room with in-room dining

Day 2
0900hrs Savour a delicious start to your day with breakfast at Serai
1000hrs Take a ride along the beach with a pony that awaits you after breakfast
1030hrs Grab your sunglasses and goggles and make a dash to the Family Pool
1230hrs Lunch at the elegant and casual setting of Kelapa Grill by the sea
1400hrs Nap time for the children
1700hrs Take an exhilarating ride on the Langkawi Cable Car up the escarpment of Mount Machincang and over and ancient rainforest
1900hrs Tuck into a sumptuous meal at Ikan-Ikan and savour authentic Malay cuisine

Day 3
0800hrs Savour a delicious start to your day with breakfast at Serai
1000hrs Make your way to the Geopark Discovery Centre for a private Mangrove & Eagles Safari with our Resident Naturalist
1230hrs Lunch is at your leisure
1400hrs Daddy to enjoy a 120min Masulinr Viguor & Vitality treatment at the Geo Spa while the children nap
1800hrs Savour a barbecue feast of freshly grilled meats and seafood in the privacy of your Rajasthani tent by the beach.

Day 4
0730hrs Private Sunrise Yoga session on the beach as the sun rises over the Andaman Sea
0830hrs Savour a delicious start to your day with breakfast at Serai
1000hrs Archery and Rock Climbing located under a canopy of luscious greenery within the Resort's grounds
1230hrs Lunch is at your leisure
1500hrs Mommy to enjoy a 120min Facial and Massage at the Geo Spa while the children nap
1700hrs Batik Painting at Kids for All Seasons
1900hrs Dine at Kelapa Grill with feet on the sand

Day 5
0900hrs Savour a delicious start to your day with breakfast at Serai
1000hrs Watersports Adventure awaits you. Quench your need for speed with a ride on the jet ski or pick up a new sport with introductory lessons for stand-up paddle surfing, wake boarding and water-ski
1230hrs Lunch is at your leisure
1400hrs Nap time for the children
1600hrs Check out and departure transfer to Langkawi International Airport.

This section deserves a separate post altogether. Read Part II of our adventures.

Family vs. Couple
How would you like to spend your time? Just want some peace and quiet to get away from your daily routine? Or maybe fill the day with activities throughout your stay? Both choices are available here.

For couples looking for private time there is a separate swimming pool for adults with private walled cabanas. Families with kids have another pool at the opposite side of the resort to have fun with. This is us, then (2010) and now (2014).

There is also the amazing great expanse of private beach for hotel guests only. The word "crowded" never comes to mind, which goes for the whole resort in general. There is more than adequate personal space, so that nobody gets in each others way. This is part of the luxury experience one pays for and expects.

Food and Beverage
We enjoyed every meal we had in the resort. The food at the restaurants are top quality but do expect to pay a little more than what you would expect. With everything taken care of for you within the resort, there are little reasons for you to venture out.

There are three restaurants, a bar and an in-room dining available for whole day dining. We made sure we tried every one of them with the children.

I. Serai
The restaurant that dishes out our breakfasts and turn Italian restaurant by night. The Four Seasons team never forgets their littlest guests. Besides a full buffet spread with live stations for the adults, there is a mini buffet table set at convenient heights for our children's dining pleasure. With me carrying Faye around, the friendly staff offered to walk with me to pick my breakfast out. They always made sure mommy had her fill at breakfast even with children who wanted to cling onto her all the time.

What was really unpleasant were the sparrows that started pecking on the bakery section of the buffet line. I did not dare touch the bakery basket that I've selected from the table. Service recovery was swift when I mentioned to the manager about my concerns - they sent over a freshly baked buns from the kitchen. I do hope they cleared out those on the buffet line!

On the third night, we were invited for a barbecue feast in their Rajasthani tent on the beach. An unforgettable dining experience on the beach awaits us. Under starlit skies, we enjoyed a somewhat romantic evening (somewhat because our little ones were kind of intruding). The royal ten is from Rajasthan, India, embellished with traditional lanterns, handwoven Indian dhurries (rugs), oversized divans and fragrant tropical flowers. We were especially thankful for readily available beach toys and colouring activity sheet for Ewan.

The bonfire experience was unique and extra special even for adults. It was buried in the sand 5 metres from our tent. Can you imagine how excited Ewan was waiting for the fire to start? We had a go at barbecuing marshmallows in the dark!

II. Ikan Ikan
This traditional malayan cuisine restaurant left a resounding impression on me four years ago. I fondly recall the flavourful dinner we had and made sure we satisfied our palettes this time as well! Impressive, delectable and almost luscious. Although Ewan and Faye was a little tougher to handle that night and we had to gobble our dishes down like wolves, I still felt like it made its stand. It is a cut above the rest in terms of Malay cuisine standards. 

III. Kelapa Grill
Casual day and night dining which looks out into the Andaman Sea. It serves light fare, from Asian stir-fries to wood-fired pizzas and other Western favourites. Their children's menu is a winner! It comes designed like a postcard and when you flip it over, your child will be treated with a colouring session that could probably let you finish half your meal in peace! The quality of food was not compromised even though it is a casual diner. We had inviting food that I am currently craving for right now!

IV. Rhu Bar
Oh please do not give Rhu Bar a miss when you visit? Such a soulful venue to sit and watch the sun sets. Amidst intricate wooden screens and Indian Mogul swings, we lounged and enjoyed an hour of evening cocktails before dinner.

V. In-Room Dining
Disappointed on the first try but won me back after the second. In-room dining, for me is a source of comfort food. Margherita pizzas and Spaghetti Bolognese are my top two orders whenever I needed supper. I was let down when my pizza came in a take-away box. At a prestigious level such as Four Season's, I do not expect to eat off disposable chopsticks or paper boxes.

We ordered a second round of in-room dining on a separate day for lunch and that came nicely set up for Ewan and I. The food was very palatable and Ewan had a decent size of lagsane from the Children's Menu.

The People
What makes a good product? The people behind the facade. Without warm and genuine staff running the resort, an award-wining architecture and state-of-the-art technology will mean nothing at all.

Arriving at the hotel after a comfortable 20 minute drive, it felt like we were returning home. The genuine friendliness of the staff made us feel like part of the hotel. Honestly everyone we met had a smile on their face and a warm greeting as we passed by. Conversations were easy and unfeigned.

Akmal, our chaperone, hit it off with Ewan immediately. While waiting for us to go through the check-in procedures, he brought Ewan around the grounds (where we can see them). Children sense danger as much as they sense security. Ewan scoot off with Akmal at ease, putting all his guards down and brought me flowers from the gardens.

Farouk, our Naturalist, who brought us out on a Mangrove and Eagle Safari is one of the best guides I've come to know. He is literally a walking encyclopaedia! I felt like I returned to shore with knowledge so vast I could intellectually point out species of animals to my children when I see them the next time. Farouk is one very considerate guide. Knowing very well that we have two young children with us, he made sure we took an easier route into the swamps. It was heartwarming that he took efforts to listen to Ewan's attempt to converse with him too.

Oh and special mention to the captain of the boat. He noticed how intrigued Ewan was whenever he looked his way and offered our little boy to steer our ride! It meant a lot to me that he involved my son on this trip and actually trusted him to the job. It boosted confidence in Ewan and I believe he now understands the meaning of responsibility. Many things in life we learn on the streets and very importantly, a child needs to be given a chance to learn. Our skipper gave Ewan the opportunity to a great experience.

We fondly remembered from our last visit in 2010, the gorgeous architecture of the Geo Spa. I wanted very much to bring back beautiful photographs of us and the children in its natural heritage grounds. However, we were unsure if children were allowed because spas are meant for adults who seek peace and tranquility. The sounds of crying children are definitely uninvited. To my delight, we went on a guided walkabout with a lady who adored my children so much, she offered to carry Faye while she showed us around. Kindness should be her middle name.

These are just a few in mention. We had been well-taken care of by every one that we came in contact with. Also greatly appreciated at this level of luxury accommodation, was the personal individual attention for each guest. Unlike most properties where guest are considered in general. These people make up the pillars to Four Seasons Resort Langkawi.

I would say it is hard to find a more luxurious family resort which indulges both adults and kids after Four Seasons Langkawi. It is more than a home away from home. Linking up the OFFERS they have to in store for you! Send your family somewhere extraordinary and give the gift of dreams!

Four Seasons Resort, Langkawi
Instagram: @fslangkawi

Our Little Travel Companions 
December 2014 - Ewan at 30 months old and Faye at 6 months old 
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  1. Hi! I chanced upon your blog as I was searching for reviews on 4 seasons Langkawi as I am planning a family trip. As this is the first trip for us, I don't know where's good for my 9monthsold and what's suitable. Your post has such great reviews for the place! One question though, how did you prepare food for your little ones since they would have started solids?

    1. Hey Adeline, thank you for popping by =) Jar food! That's what I do with bot kids when we travel and they could yet take solid-solid foods. I also feed them with the porridge at the breakfast buffet table, sometimes smashing bananas too. If you want, you can get the kitchen to blend some carrots or potatoes as well while you eat in the hotel's restaurants. I hope that helps!

  2. I hate having to plan the itinerary when I'm on holiday. So having a proposed itinerary planned for the family is godsend!Shall consider the Four Seasons if we ever head up to Langkawi!

    1. It's like going on a holiday without having to think about anything. Just go with the flow!

  3. Love the photos, especially the shot with the father & son running! Have been toying with the idea of visiting Langkawi too - This spurs me to get serious planning for it. :)

    1. hahah That shot was staged! I told the daddy what I wanted to photograph and told him to run so that Ewan will chase hehehe

  4. superb service and attention for their guests. I haven't been to Langkawi before and hope to be there too. Four Season definitely look and sound like an ideal family vacation for both adults and children. love the way you break down the itinerary in red and blue. good idea!

    1. Langkawi is really a nice relaxing island to holiday in. There are many hotels too and self-driving is very easy because there's only one road haha

  5. I got confused earlier, was wondering how come the kids (and parents) look different in photos haha. Love the attention given to families ! That is how they retain customer's loyalty and recommendation :)

    cheers, andy

    1. huh Just two years only we look so different????? hahahahaha Sure or not! Ya... they've definitely retained our loyalty if not, I wouldn't bother writing too.

  6. the last time i was in langkawi i literally stayed in a hut while trying to get my diving licence. the four seasons sounds like it's on the other end of the scale -- amazing! would love to visit one day. the waters around langkawi are so lovely. i often forget that we live in such a lovely part of the world.

    life is in the small things

    1. I would love to do the hut thing Veraday. *sobs* but my husband is not for it. He prefers this end of the scale. Don't even wanna go backpacking with me!

  7. The sunset from the Rhu Bar was astounding and that bon fire night by the beach, unforgettable. I'm blown away by the level of attentiveness the resort gives to ensuring everyone (even the littlest in the family) is well-taken care of. Our last visit to Langkawi, we stayed at Tanjong Rhu Resort, if we ever decide to visit again, we'll definitely try Four Seasons! Thanks for sharing your experience May!

    1. My pleasure. We were so spoilt, I don't know if anyone else can live it up to FS standards.

  8. Wow, they are really super kids-friendly! I love the baby ammenities and the mini buffet table. And the jacuzzi.. Shiok. Gonna KIV this if I'm looking for something nearby!

    1. You've just done the nearest-ny: JB! lol

  9. Waaa langkawi seems like a nice place to go after my Montigo trip! I loveeee resort holidays also! So relaxing, so tranquil, I don't even need a shopping place. Just gimme the beach, barbequed food and take the kids away from me for a little while! :p

    1. Take the kids away for a weekend even better! lol

  10. This is just fab, prepared itinerary?
    Maybe I can convince hubby to return to Langkawi with our girl, we had our honeymoon there!


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